- - Sunday, August 1, 2010


Truckers suspend strike, talk with government

ATHENS | Greek truckers announced Sunday they were ending their seven-day strike and entering into talks with the government over opening up their profession to nonunion members.

The strike seriously disrupted supplies of fuel and other goods to markets, but the government’s decision on Friday to commandeer the strikers’ vehicles has largely filled gasoline pumps again, even though many truckers refused to obey the mobilization orders. Army vehicles have helped supply fuel to airports, hospitals and power stations.

The head of the truckers union said members will resume work Monday but warned of further strikes if the government “backs down from their commitments,” without specifying what those are.


Patriarch prays for rain as wildfires rage

MOSCOW | Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill asked Russians to pray for rain on Sunday as wildfires raged across the European parts of the vast country, sweltering since June in an unprecedented heat wave.

The hottest weather since records began 130 years ago has withered crops and pushed thousands of farmers to the verge of bankruptcy.

“Grief has come to our nation, human lives have been lost, hundreds have lost shelter and thousands have been left without sustenance, including many children,” national media quoted Patriarch Kirill as saying in a prayer during a visit to the Nizhny Novgorod region, one of the worst hit by fires.

“I call upon everyone to unite in a prayer for rain to descend on our earth.”

At least 28 people have died in wildfires in European Russia in the past few days, the Emergencies Ministry said, adding that by Sunday morning a total of 774 fires had been registered, including 369 ones that occurred since Saturday.

More than 5,200 people have been evacuated from disaster-stricken regions, it said.


Authorities widen crackdown on foreigners

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